Forecast: 2m Indian satellite comms users by 2025

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A report from India financial services company ICRA forecasts that local consumers will increasingly adopt use of satellite communications despite the “quite expensive” costs.

India, however, is starting from a low base (estimated at less than 300,000) in current usage of satellite communications. The report blames a “restricted” operating environment, vague licencing policies and uncertainty over spectrum allocation for operators. These combined have put India very much in the “back seat” according to ICRA.

“In India, if the operating environment eases, satellite communication user base is expected to rise to around 1.5-2 million by 2025,” it said.

Indeed, ICRA suggests that satellite-based communications could be the “next big thing” in India.

Already getting ready to provide service is the Bharti-backed OneWeb consortium which talks of supplying India consumers with its form of satellite-based access by mid-2022.

Also extremely keen is Elon Musk’s Starlink service which has applied for operating licences for an India service.

Sabyasachi Majumdar, Group Head and SVP at ICRA, says that satellite communication will remain crucial for broadband inclusion for remote and sparsely populated areas.

“Several foreign players are eyeing this market, and have launched/ are in process of launching a constellation of satellites to cover the entire earth, including One Web, Starlink, Amazon, etc,” Majumdar added.


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